Ahhh the Red Devil. That is where I am at currently in my chemo regimen. A regimen that consists of 16 chemotherapy treatments and the last 4 being the devil. On February 3rd, I had my first Red Devil. You can see from the photo why its so lovingly named. Not to mention this bastard is a beast. I had managed, by the skin of my tender gums/teeth to complete 12 rounds of chemo. Taxol (single doses every Friday) was bad but not so bad that I wanted to just curl up and sleep for a thousand years. However, every time we doubled up and added Carboplatin (every third Friday) I did indeed want to just curl up and sleep. Anything to avoid all those damn side effects. Being a cancer patient is a full time job- just dealing day to day with the side effects, doctors appointments, treatments.
So somewhere along the line, it was determined I should go back to work. That’s all I will say about that except that suffice to say, it didn’t work. I went back part time on 2/1/17. I had my first Red Devil on 2/3/17. I was weak and dizzy after treatment. I managed to work 5 hours on Monday the 6th and about the same the 7th. But it took its toll. It took me more than an hour to make myself presentable for work (no eyebrows freaks people out for some reason) and then I had to make the 60+ minute drive into work. By Wednesday the 8th I was too weak and tired to move. I slept off and on most of the day. I managed to get back to work that Thursday the 9th. Friday was a lost cause. Every time I moved my head the world spun out of control. I spent the weekend in bed. It sucks really. You get so tired of those same 4 walls, even if mine are pretty cool cause my boyfriend collects some sick stuff. Over the weekend, a stye popped up in my right eye. Then another. And another. By Sunday I had 3 stye’s in one eye. No immune system is a bitch. The smallest thing can and will bring you down. Monday the 13th of February…I got up and got myself ready for work. It was mad. My eye was blown up and the right side of my face was throbbing. I should’ve stayed home as dizzy as I was, all the pain and weakness. Stubborn to the end, I got myself to the office. When I got there I decided to take a picture of my face and send it to my nurse case manager at the Cancer Center. I managed to work till 1:30 then decided I better get home before I was too weak to do so. I was in the door 15 minutes when my oncologist called me to tell me to get to her office and pack a bag as I just might be being admitted. Wait, what? Well, we got to her office as fast as possible. She took one look at me and said, you have to be admitted. You possibly have Orbital Cellulitis. Well shit. Not just painful styes, but a potentially life threatening infection.
Luckily the CT scan showed we caught it in time. Not in time to not be admitted for 2 days, but in time for it not to become septic. So there I was, two days in the hospital, visited by Infectious Disease doctors, med students because UF is a wonderful teaching hospital, and a constant barrage of people drawing my blood etc. I was put on some of the strongest antibiotics around because of my weakened state. Its scary to hear that you could’ve gotten sick enough you could be fighting for your life right now. Not that I am not already, but you know what I mean. As I sat there going over the events that landed me there, I realized there really was only one spot I would’ve picked up the nasty staph infection that landed me there. So time to take care of me first. Work is off the table for now. We shall see what comes of that decision. All I know is, now that I have had Red Devil number two (delayed by a week because of landing in the hospital) that I made the right decision. Round 2 of AC is kicking my ass. I am having difficulty walking, eating and the fatigue is a nightmare. So staying home and taking care of myself is what I need to do right now.
Time to take my litany of meds. Till next time.